ASU Football: Durant Sentenced, Team Status Unknown


This week, incoming JUCO transfer Davon Durant was sentenced for disorderly conduct.  The sentence comes after a guilty plea entered by Durant stemming from an incident in March where he reportedly got into an argument with his girlfriend and was arrested.  Durant was initially charged with more serious crimes, but those were dismissed.

While his sentence amounts to a metaphorical slap on the wrist (probation and counseling), his status with the ASU Football team is uncertain.  The university will first make a determination about his status as a student, citing that he may have violated the student code of conduct.  Assuming that Durant is allowed to stay in school, the athletic department may choose to suspend him from participation with the football program.

Finally, even if the athletic department allows Durant to play, head coach Todd Graham can still levy his own punishment.  Graham, who has been quiet about Durant, is known for his disciplinarian mentality and does not typically put up with any behavior issues.  Graham doesn’t even target talented recruits with behavioral issues.

So, Durant’s fate as a football player is still undetermined.  But that fate should be decided soon.  The university reportedly will handle this matter quickly.  Perhaps by the end of the month.

This development is obviously a blow to Durant, but also to the ASU football team.  Durant was a 4-star recruit and ranked in the top-10 nationally at the linebacker position.  Most importantly, Durant was pegged to play the critical position of DevilBacker, a hybrid pass-rusher/cover linebacker.  It’s a huge part of coach Todd Graham’s defense.

In Graham’s first two years, the DevilBacker position was played by Carl Bradford, now with the Green Bay Packers.  Bradford’s unique athleticism allowed him to be the perfect defender for that position.  And he could play it on every down.  Last season, no one could truly stake their claim for the DevilBacker position.  The coaching staff experimented with almost everybody, including tight end DeMariyea Nelson.

This spring, Durant was anticipated to debut at DevilBacker and end the search.  His arrest put an end to that as he was suspended over the incident.

Devils in Detail does not delve into political commentary.  If the university and coach Graham decide to let Durant go, so be it.  Nobody will really argue with that decision.  If, however, the school and the coach are satisfied that Durant is worthy of staying at ASU and playing football, then it’s just as well.  Hopefully, he’ll be able to move on from this ugliness and contribute to an ASU football team with high aspirations next season.

True ASU football fans should stay tuned to see how this situation shakes out in the coming weeks.